Alwaght- An Iranian delegation has delivered humanitarian aid to Rohingya Muslims being hosted in Bangladesh after fleeing persecution and ethnic cleansing in their native Myanmar.
Led by Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour, the Iranian delegation visited Rohingya refugee camp in border areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar and interacted with refugees residing in the camp.
The visit coincided with the distribution of humanitarian aid of Islamic Republic of Iran to displaced people staying in the camp. The first consignment of Iranian relief supplies weighs around 40 tonnes and includes foodstuff and medical supplies.
The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Morteza Salimi, who was part of the delegation, announced before the humanitarian aid flight that Iran is ready to send another 160 tons of aid for the fleeing Rohingya Muslims, and is also prepared to construct emergency camps for the refugees on the Bangladesh's border with Myanmar.
On Thursday, the United Nations appealed for “massive” help for nearly 400,000 Muslims from Myanmar, who had fled to Bangladesh since late August, in a mass displacement described by the world body’s head, Antonio Guterres, as ethnic cleansing.
“We urge the international community to step up humanitarian support and come up with help,” Mohammed Abdiker, the director of operations and emergencies for the UN’s International Organization for Migration, told a news conference in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.
The number of the refugees “may rise to 600,000, 700,000, even one million if the situation in Myanmar does not improve,” he added.
Since August 25, the Myanmar military has significantly stepped up its clampdown on the persecuted Muslim community, mainly based in the country’s western Rakhine State, following a series of attacks on army and police checkpoints there.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International and border officials in Bangladesh say the Myanmar military has planted landmines on the path of the fleeing Muslims, causing many of them to sustain serious wounds or lose their body organs.
Amnesty said on Friday that it has evidence of the military’s “systematic” torching of Muslim villages.
“Rakhine State is on fire,” said Olof Blomqvist, a researcher with Amnesty International, in a “clear campaign of ethnic cleansing” by Myanmar’s forces.
Three days into the outbreak of the violence, the European Rohingya Council said between 2,000 and 3,000 Muslims were killed in Rakhine state.